August 7th, 2014

Buffalo Christian Center to close; property sold to Ellicott

Via Buffalo Business First
By David Bertola

After selling its building, creating a new foundation and spinning off its top programs, Buffalo Christian Center is closing.

Last year, new Buffalo Christian Center leadership examined how its building at 512 Pearl Street could be leveraged to accomplish the organization’s mission of serving local at-risk youth through its myriad programs. In doing so, it was determined that the building would need more than $5 million in renovations. Leadership met with industry experts, community leaders and donors about doing so, and a consulting group created a plan to account for large capital expenditures to pay for renovations.

After determining that the level of impact on the community wouldn’t correlate with the amount needed to modernize the building, and that raising $5 million was unlikely, it was decided to sell their building at 512 Pearl Street in Buffalo.

Leadership had considered other options once it moved, including relocating, merging and dissolving. Ultimately, it was decided to spin off its three primary programs to other organizations. Proceeds of the building’s sale to Ellicott Development Co. allowed the center to create the YouthTime Foundation with the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo to continue serving at-risk youth. The deal is expected to close next week, and the sale price was not disclosed.

Moving forward, YouthTime will grant money to Buffalo organizations with missions focused on youth.

Ellicott Development President and CEO William Paladino said that the building has historic value. And while they haven’t decided what they’ll do with it after the deal closes, Paladino said the company will seek state and federal historic tax credits for whatever they choose.

“We have some ideas; it may tie in with other things we have planned in the same area,” he said, adding that an ample parking lot is a draw in an area where parking can be a challenge.

The building includes a Forbes Theater, a roller rink, basketball court and swimming pool.

“We’ll probably keep some of those, most likely the Forbes Theater and pool, but it all really depends on our final plans,” he said.

No time frame has been set for redevelopment, or whether it will be mixed use with commercial and residential components or more residential than commercial.

August 6th, 2014

RealtyUSA crossing Delaware for new home for commercial unit

Via Buffalo Business First
By Jim Fink

An expansion plan by Lawley Insurance is prompting RealtyUSA to relocate its commercial real estate division in Buffalo.

Next month, RealtyUSA’s commercial division will be moving from its longtime home in the Pleu Building at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Tupper Street to literally just across the street to another building at 344 Delaware Ave. Both buildings are owned by Ellicott Development Co.

RealtyUSA had been a tenant in the Pleu Building for the past 20 years, leasing 3,500-square-feet in what had been, at one time, the home of the Par Avion store.

In its new space, RealtyUSA will be leasing approximately the same amount of square feet but on the second floor of the 344 Delaware Avenue Building, said Tim Hourihan, RealtyUSA commercial division manager.

“We always found Ellicott to be a very good landlord,” Hourihan said. “This whole move has been very seamless.”

The RealtyUSA office has 15 commercial agents and brokers.

Once RealtyUSA moves, Lawley Insurance will occupy all of the first and second floors of the Pleu Building.

August 6th, 2014

Construction Watch: 199 Scott Street

Via Buffalo Rising
By WC Perspective

A controversial billboard on the west façade of 199 Scott Street has been removed as Ellicott Development Company’s substantial redevelopment project enters its final stages. An Ellicott Development representative says that windows will soon be added to the building where the billboard used to hang. The first commercial tenant has moved into the building’s office space and residential tenants will begin moving in next month.

Built in 1920, the eight-story Fairmont Creamery Co. structure was most recently used by the Arctic Freezer Company for storage as a refrigerated storage site for Rich Products Corp. Ellicott Development has owned the 120,000 sq.ft. property since 2001 and it was one of the larger completely vacant buildings downtown. Its vacancy was hard to hide since the building is adjacent to the I-190 and the now-removed billboard was used by Ellicott Development CEO Carl Paladino to chastise local business and government leaders. Containing approximately 122,000 square feet, it is the tallest structure in the Cobblestone District.

Ellicott Development moved forward with the $14.6 million renovation as development has blossomed in nearby areas including downtown, Canalside, the Cobblestone District, the Ohio Street corridor, and Larkin District. The refurbished building includes a mix of apartments, office space, restaurant/banquet facilities, and retail space.

Offices are located on the building’s sixth, seventh and eighth floors. Liazon, a provider of private online benefits exchanges recently purchased by Towers Watson, occupies the eighth floor. The company is expecting significant growth, up to 500 jobs over the next five years, and recently agreed to lease additional space in the building which has been included in sites eligible for Start-UP NY incentives.

Thirty apartments are being created on floors three through five, a banquet facility and meeting space are planned on the second floor, and a restaurant is likely for the ground floor where a large elevated terrace has been constructed. There will be on-site parking for 140 vehicles. AP Architects designed the project.

July 25th, 2014

Apartments planned for former school in Kenmore

Via Buffalo News
By Joseph Popiolkowski

A mostly vacant school in the heart of Kenmore would see new life as apartments and retail space under plans before the village Planning Board.

The former George Washington Elementary School, 1 Delaware Road, would be redeveloped into 20 market-rate, one- and two-bedroom apartments, according to plans of Ellicott Development Co., which purchased the 51,000-square-foot building last year for $725,000. A single-story, 5,500-square-foot addition for offices, retail and restaurants also would be built on the west side of the building, facing Delaware Avenue.

“We thought right from the get-go that it was a great opportunity for an adaptive reuse-type project, something that would contribute to all of the activity in the village,” said Thomas M. Fox, project manager.

Village officials support the plans.

“It fits with our comprehensive plan with the mixed use and obviously with the look that complements the streetscape,” said Kenmore Clerk-Treasurer Kathleen Johnson.
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